The mandate goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020, and if you’re not compliant you won’t legally be able to fly in most controlled airspace. And if you don’t act quickly your airplane might be grounded for some time after this year’s end. Experienced avionics shops are already overloaded with work and are scheduling installations far in advance.
If your flight missions don’t go beyond fun hops in uncontrolled airspace, don’t worry. In fact, you can even fly IFR as long as you stay out of the airspace defined in the ADS-B rules. Aside from some exceptions, your airplane must be equipped with ADS-B Out in any Class E airspace above 10,000 feet — not including areas below 2,500 feet agl — or in or above Class B or C airspace, within Mode C veils, in Class A airspace and above 3,000 feet within 12 miles of the coast in the Gulf of Mexico.
There are many systems on the market to choose from, but it is important that you get one that fits your needs. Your first consideration is evaluating what type of flying you will do. Find a good avionics technician who will take the time to thoroughly evaluate your panel.
The rule is already in effect and the application process will be completely eliminated Jan. 1 when non-ADS-B-equipped aircraft can no longer fly in RVSM airspace.
Bottom line, it’s high time to make appointments for evaluations and installations now if you don’t want to be grounded at the end of the year.